The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of back-to-back road losses and are hoping to avoid making it three in a row heading into the Week 17 matchup with the Detroit Lions. Fortunately, home-field advantage has been kind to them all season, so much so they've been undefeated this year at AT&T Stadium. They'll have their work cut out for them though this week to keep that streak alive.
Today, we are going to take a look at a few key matchups the Cowboys probably need to win in order to remain undefeated at home this season and get their 11th win. If not, the Lions will probably end up being the victorious team this week.
Cowboys' RT Terence Steele vs. Lions' DE Aidan Hutchinson
The Terence Steele versus Aidan Hutchinson matchup is definitely one to keep a close watchful eye on. Steele is currently allowing the third-most QB pressures among tackles this season and Hutchinson is among the top five pass rushers in QB pressures (87). This is shaping up to be a nightmare matchup for the Dallas Cowboys. It's no secret Steele has struggled this season, especially in pass protection. Going up against one of the best in the league this week certainly won't help matters. Dallas would be wise to get him some help if/when needed, otherwise Dak Prescott and the offense could be in trouble.
Cowboys' run defense vs. Lions' RB David Montgomery/Jahmyr Gibbs
Damone Clark, Markquese Bell, and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys run defense has their work cut out for them this week against a very talented Detroit Lions rushing attack. Detroit's dynamic duo is arguably one of the best RB tandems Dallas is seen all season. They are currently helping the Lions average 141.1 rushing yards per game this season, which could be a problem considering Dallas' run defense is allowing 115.7 rushing yards a game this year. This is one of those matchups that the Cowboys can't allow to get out of hand, otherwise another James Cook-like situation could lead to the third loss in a row.
Cowboys' WR CeeDee Lamb vs. Lions' DB Brian Branch
Brian Branch, Detroit's second-round pick this year, is having a phenomenal rookie season playing out of the nickel. He has the tough task of helping to contain CeeDee Lamb in this Week 17 matchup. No. 88 has gotten the better of just about every defensive back he's faced this season and may be more motivated than ever to have a big game. He will be attempting to make Dallas Cowboys history by breaking Michael Irvin's receiving receptions in a season (111). Lamb as of right now is just three reception shy. You can bet Dak Prescott will be targeting him early and often, making the matchup with Branch an important one.